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Austin Noyes, Moorhead, Published January 12 2013

Letter: Fiscal cliff agreement is a sham; end partisanship, restart debate

If Washington ran like a business, Congress Inc. would have been gone long ago. Natural financial rules dictate you don’t spend more than you take in. Simple historical fact says you can’t spend (or tax) your way out of a recession (or any economic downturn). Yet Washington spends in the ballpark of $3.6 trillion, while only taking in $2.3 trillion. This gives us a total deficit, per year, of around

$1.29 trillion.

The new fiscal cliff deal, proposed and passed by Congress, only raises taxes on the upper 0.7 percent of America (specifically on individual filers making more than $400,000 and joint filers making more than $450,000). After the vehicle of America, which was once speeding at unimaginable speeds toward the dreaded fiscal cliff, was veered off that horrible course, America seemed satisfied. But allow me to tell you the real story.

To the naked and uninformed eye, such as mine before I examined the real figures, this seems like a nice revenue increase to a much-needed ill. But, this deal only raises revenue to a grand total of $600 billion over a decade. Do some simple math and it converts to $60 billion per year. Now, our deficit, which once sat at an enormous and unsustainable $1.29 trillion, is lowered to $1.23 trillion. See anything wrong with that math? It doesn’t add to much, does it?

Now, the Democrats ran their entire election 2012 campaign largely on the idea of raising taxes on the rich. They got exactly what they’ve been demanding. The Republicans ran their entire election 2012 campaign largely on the idea of cutting large amounts of spending all over the budget. As a conservative, we have now done our part in compromising on this deal. We even allowed spending cuts to be, again, kicked down the road to the end of March.

Let’s start our debates over this issue today. End the partisanship in Washington that’s left us on this course and let’s get something done! Before March comes, let’s usher in this new 113th Congress with exhilaration and excitement that we, as America, get a fresh start once again to leave our posterity with a brighter future. Let’s get this deficit out of here by cutting spending, raising taxes (which you can now check off the list), and get a surplus to erase our mountain of debt.

We can do this, America! It all starts with you! Allow me to encourage you to contact your representative and push for a smarter, smaller, effective, and flexible Washington. Let us hold true to Lincoln’s famous line in reassuring that OUR government IS “of the people, by the people, and FOR the people.”